Celebrating our urban imaginaries: a joint reflection + commitment to action

Celebrating our urban imaginaries: a joint reflection + commitment to action

The closing RISE Africa Session invites you to join us to synthesise and reflect on the RISE Africa Festival and chart a route for future RISE Africa community activities.


La session de clôture RISE Africa vous invite à vous joindre à nous pour synthétiser et réfléchir sur le festival RISE Africa et tracer un itinéraire pour les futures activités de la communauté RISE Africa.


Host: ICLEI Africa

Geci Karuri-Sebina

South African Cities Network, University of the Witwatersrand, African Centre for Cities

Kobie Brand

Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI; Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Rashiq Fataar

Director, Our Future Cities

Eddie Jjemba

Urban Resilience Advisor, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Paul Currie

Manager: Urban Systems Unit, ICLEI Africa

Session Summary

The closing session for RISE Africa 2021 was a session of reflection on the process and outcomes of the event. Panelists noted that the festival generated a lot of enthusiasm, energy, curiosity and yearning for change through action. It successfully curated not only a variety of audiences but a variety of voices. It brought to the fore the importance of engaging in alternative forms of knowledge production as they can bring about unique outcomes. There is therefore a need to integrate mainstream and alternative forms of knowledge production. Panelists highlighted the importance of arts, cultural aesthetics and creative expression as tools and concepts that could drive inclusive and sustainable urbanisation. The power of boundary objects such as photography and data were also highlighted through the festival. Data is critical for transformation and not really a luxury, a panelist noted.

Achieving sustainable cities in Africa will hinge on connecting social networks and building partnerships that can foster co-creation of solutions and actions. It will also rely on curating multi-stakeholder platforms such as RISE Africa which has led the way in piloting and testing new ideas. Panelists concluded that the festival has been able to successfully inspire the next generation of practitioners for co-production of actions for a sustainable Africa.